How to Restore-A-Deck in One Day!

Restore-A-Deck’s three-step process makes it possible to complete a wood staining project in a single day. The stain is safe to apply on damp wood, perfect for those who are busy and want to achieve same-day results for their exterior wood staining projects.

Here’s a rundown of Restore-A-Deck’s three-step process, it’s components, and how they work together to produce an immaculately stained wood surface.

RAD Stain Steps

Step 1: Restore-A-Deck Wood Cleaner or Restore-A-Deck Wood Stripper

Are you working with a wood surface that has not previously been stained? If so, use the Restore-A-Deck Cleaner. The Wood Cleaner works hard to remove dirt, grime, mold, and mildew better than the competition after one application. It restores the natural beauty of exterior wood to its original appearance without harming wood fibers, pets, grass, and most plants.

Restore-A-Deck Cleaner can also be used for maintenance coats when using the same brand stain as before.

If you are working with a new wood surface that has previously been stained or painted, strip the wood surface using Restore-A-Deck Stripper. The Wood Stripper quickly and efficiently removes most oil and latex based finishes including clear sealers, transparent stains, and semi-transparent stains. On top of removing the stain, the Wood Stripping formula takes off collected dirt, mold, mildew, and mill glaze.

Both come in a concentrated powder form that is convenient to transport and is extremely cost effective. Can be mixed on site with water then applied directly to the wood.

Step 2: Restore-A-Deck Brightener

After you complete step 1, using Restore-A-Deck Cleaner or Stripper depending on your situation, we recommend you follow up with Restore-A-Deck Brightener to neutralize the pH of the surface to allow for proper application of the stain. This formula works hard upon initial application to brighten the wood surface as well as remove stubborn rust stains and tannin stains caused by fallen leaves. Restore-A-Deck brightener will give your deck or wood surface a clean looking finish ideal for applying the stain.

Step 3: Restore-A-Deck Stain

The final step in this three-step process is the Stain. Restore-A-Deck Stain uses the latest in water-based wood staining technology to create a formula that allows for better UV protection, excellent penetration into the wood stain for long lasting beautiful results, and the ability to apply to damp wood for single day project completion or to dry wood the day after prep. The Wood Stain comes in four radiant semi-transparent colors that highlight and enhance the natural wood grain.

Restore-A-Deck Wood Stain is best applied the same day as prep typically 2-4 hours at 70 degrees F and less than 50% humidity. Make sure that all standing water has dried off the surface prior to application. 

See here for: Wet on Wet Application Tips

See here for tips on new wood: Restore-A-Deck Stain and New Wood

See her for hot sun application: Restore-A-Deck Stain Hot Sun Application

If you have used the Restore-A-Deck in one-day system, we want to hear from you. Feel free to leave a review and don’t forget to include pictures.

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  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Cheryl · 07/23/2021
    If you stain, the same day as your strip/brighten how long should you wait before applying the stain? Part of my deck is covered, concerned the wood in the uncovered portion will be dryer than the wood that is covered.
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    Carolyn · 06/28/2021
    Do I need to remove all of the Behr semi-transparent stain before using Restore a Deck? It's nearly gone on horizontal surfaces, but still pretty firmly attached to many vertical surfaces. Will your stripper remove it readily?
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      RAD Products · 06/28/2021
      You will have to remove all. Post some pictures here in the comments.
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        Carolyn Cassel · 06/28/2021
        Here are some photos. The deck itself has just bits of stain left. Many of the verticals are still pretty well covered.
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          RAD Products · 06/28/2021
          Use the RAD Stripper with both additives: https://www.restore-a-deck.com/rad-stain-stripper-additives.html
          Let dwell for 45-60 minutes (mist if needed to keep from drying out), pressure wash off, repeat if needed, brightener last.
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            Carolyn Cassel · 06/28/2021
            I already submitted my order earlier today. Can I update it to include the additive?
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              Carolyn Cassel · 06/28/2021
              Also, can you tell me what the coverage of the additives are? I ordered the 5 gallon set of stain/stripper/brightener. The horizontal part of my deck (which will not need additive) is about 600 sq ft. How much of the additive will I need?
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              RAD Products · 06/28/2021
              You need both additives and best to call and do this over the phone as we do not store credit cards for security reasons.
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    Carolyn · 06/28/2021
    Is the stripper and/or brightener harmful to plants? If so, is it harmful to getting on the leaves as well as getting in the ground? What is the best way to protect garden plants?
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      RAD Products · 06/28/2021
      Cover the leaves while so they are not "burned" from the prep products. It will not harm the ground or roots.
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    bill · 06/04/2021
    1 year old semi transparent Restore A Deck stained deck.  process to apply another coat now.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/04/2021
      Use the RAD Cleaner and then Brightener.
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        David · 06/28/2021
        I came here to ask this question. :). Just to confirm, if I want to reapply RestoreADeck , I need to go through the full Clean/Brightener steps again this year. (approaching my 1 year anniversary)
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    Mike · 05/12/2021
    Can I use bug juice with the rad solid stain?Thanks
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    Lance · 05/01/2021
    I applied thompsons  semi transparent last summer. Everything in the sun about 50% of the deck is peeling. Do i strip and brighten before restaining? Thanks 
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    deck2deck · 04/23/2021
    I've searched this site for the answer to this question but haven't found anyone with my unique situation: I have a concrete patio under our deck... do we need to protect it with plastic sheeting prior to using your products?  If so, just for the staining portion or for the whole thing (i.e. will stripping/cleaning/brightening runoff stain our concrete)?  Because of the forecast for this weekend, I have to do our project in two days (strip/clean/brighten on first day; stain on third day with one day of rain in between). Many thanks!
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    F Kenney · 04/20/2021
    I applied the Restore-a-Deck semi-transparent stain-2 coats- last summer after sanding carefully, using the RAD cleaner and brightener, but this Spring I noticed lots of white spots (see pictures), amplified when I power-washed the deck. Question: normally you restain every two-three years but it looks like I'll need to do it now. If so, do I have to use a brightener again? And why the white spots?Thanks.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/20/2021
      You removed the stain while pressure washing to close to the wood. You can see your pressure washer marks. Best to to a full prep and recoat. Use the Restore A Deck Kits.
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    Matt Plachta · 04/11/2021
    I applied the Restore-a-Deck semi-transparent stain last fall.  How do I know when it is time to re-stain?  Just by visible wear or is there a water absorption test that should be done periodically?  Also, it is possible to re-stain too frequently, like annual, and end up with a film buildup?  
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/11/2021
      More is not always better. Every 2-3 years is normal.
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    Constantin · 04/10/2021
    I already got the cleaner, brightened, and the semitransparent stain. Ready to restore my 2 cedar decks (never stained before). Now, I want to sand the decks a bit as well (they are old and have been power washed quite aggressively in the past. And it shows).  I am not 100% when should I do that, considering that the decks would have to fully dry before sanding. Either:1. Clean->power wash->brighten->rinse->let it dry->sand->wash->stainOR2. Clean->power wash->let it dry->sand->brighten->rinse->stain

    Thanks
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/10/2021
      Clean->power wash->let it dry->sand->brighten->rinse->stain
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    Dan C · 04/02/2021
    Ok, Time to re-stain. last stained 2 seasons ago. Used Restore-A-Deck Clear stain before. Do I need to remove the previous application before re-staining? Plan was was to clean and brighten, then apply the new stain. ThanksDan C.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/02/2021
      I assume you mean Natural as it does not come in Clear. Use the RAD Cleaner and Brightener kits while pressure washing for prep. 
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    jason klingensmith · 04/01/2021
    Can I use a roller to apply RAD semitransparent to horizontal surfaces? Thanks
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    THall08 · 11/20/2020
    Another picture from hot tub sat.
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      RAD Products · 11/20/2020
      We would strip off as much as you can and then sand the rest off. Under the tub was a solid stain. Use both additives: https://www.restore-a-deck.com/rad-stain-stripper-additives.htmlhttps://www.restore-a-deck.com/rad-stain-stripper-additives.html

      Brightener last.
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    THall08 · 11/20/2020
    Another picture, a hot tub was in this spot.
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    THall08 · 11/20/2020
    I am not sure if our deck was stained or painted (whatever it was happened 13 years ago)...can you tell? If painted, we have to first sand, then use your products, correct? If stained, we can go straight to strip, brighten, then stain? First timer!!
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    Philp C Dickinson · 11/11/2020
    Does Water bead on surfaces coated with RAD Stains?

    How soon can a surface be rained on without damaging the finish? thanks, Phil
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 11/11/2020
      Shed water does not bead as it is a breathable stain. It can take rain 6-10 hours after applying.
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    Charla · 08/09/2020
    We recently stained our deck. I wanted a walnut color like the flooring in our house. However when the guy at the paint store “matched” the flooring, what we got was a gray stain. I thought maybe with a second coat it would look different. It does not. It looks solid gray. I hate it and so I want to strip it. Will the Restore-A-Deck work to do this or will we need to sand it all?
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      RAD Products · 08/10/2020
      That is a solid stain. You will have to sand to remove it.
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        Michael L. · 07/04/2021
        I have a 3-4yr old solid stain that i like and would like to reapply same brand/color, so can I just use restore a deck cleaner and reapply the stain over the old stain?  And do I use a stiff brush or mild pressure wash to clean stain?  Thanks if you've the time
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    Phillip McGuiness · 06/30/2020
    I have a 15 + y/o cedar deck that’s been stained multiple times. 2 years ago after sanding large areas of the deck until smooth, I had used Olympic semi transparent stain which gave a good look. But, areas have peeled. I was on the deck review website And impressed with the reviews of your product which said it could be used with ( I obviously thought over) acrylic type stains like Olympic. I have cleaned and used the brightener and now also reading that I should have stripped the deck first. My error. Part of the reason for not wanting to strip the deck are some 80 ft of railing as well as a skirt around the deck , and the vertical posts. I assume the stripper will get on this and double the work, not just one day. I I was hoping to avoid that. What do you suggest?
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    Joe · 06/29/2020
    Can I dilute restore a deck stain
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    Laci · 06/23/2020
    I'm looking to stain my fence, installed 2 years ago and soft washed about a week ago. I'm trying to sort thru all of the steps to make sure I have it right. Do I need to clean and brighten or can I go ahead and just stain since it was already cleaned?

    Additionally, I have a small wooden entrance patio that was painted years ago and is now flaking off. Will the stripper work on the remaining paint?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/23/2020
      Pictures of both are needed.
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        Laci · 06/23/2020
        First two pics are the patio, the third is the fence.
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 06/23/2020
          The fence is ready to be stained. The peeling paint needs to be sanded off. Strippers will not remove it.
          • We will reply to your comment shortly
            Laci · 06/23/2020
            So straight to stain for the fence. One coat or two?

            I was afraid the patio was going to be elbow grease. Once it's sanded then use the cleaner and then stain?
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              RAD Products · 06/23/2020
              2 coats wet on wet for the fence. Yes on the prep after sanding.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Beverly · 06/22/2020
    How do you remove the stamp from new pine boards
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/22/2020
      Sand it off if the cleaner does not remove it.
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    Amanda · 06/22/2020
    This deck was stripped, brightened and fully sanded prior to a dry application of the semi-transparent stain using a deck roller. I think this wood will require two coats even though the product instructions say sanded wood only needs one coat. The first coat is already cured, can I lightly sand it and then put two coats on using the wet on wet method or do I have to wait until next summer to clean and just add another coat? Thanks!
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    Beverly · 06/21/2020
    I will be sanding a covered deck to remove old solid stain. Could I wait a few months, until fall to clean, brighten and stain with semi transparent stain? Thank you.
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    Sue schroeder · 06/19/2020
    Huge previously stained pressure treated deck with TWP semi transparent oil base stain cedar tone..not happy with the results as live in woods and oil based has led to mildew...want to use restore a deck water base stain...must I use stripper first vice just cleaner followed by Brightener? Thank you four assistance.
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    Chris Warner · 06/16/2020
    I have about 440 square feet of deck and the high is suppose to be 84 degrees today. About 3/4 of the deck will not be in direct sunlight. Is it okay to strip, brighten and stain today?
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    Bill · 06/10/2020
    We have an old deck. Used RAD stain 3 years ago. Time to re-stain (same color). First, do I have the RAD one-day process correct (below)?
    1. Sweep deck and lightly spray with water to dampen.
    2. Apply RAD Cleaner, wait 15 minutes, and power wash to remove dirt. Then rinse deck.
    3. Apply RAD Brightener while deck is still wet. Let Brightner stand 10 minutes. Then rinse thoroughly for 20 minutes.
    4. Wait several hours and apply RAD stain (make sure deck has no standing water).
    5. DONE.

    Final question >>> Do I need to use Brightner? If so, how long between rinsing Cleaner and applying Brightner? Remove standing water? Thanks so much!!
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Sks · 06/07/2020
    A few questions:
    I plan to use the stripper/brightener on my deck. Is that what you would recommend for the photos attached? I am not sure what was previously on it and nothing has been done to it for at least 9-10 years.

    How soon after the cleaning process does it have to get stained? And does it matter what brand stain we use? I would rather buy a stain that we can purchase locally in case we run out or need a second coat.

    Square footage is aprox 358 with 3 steps and about 50 ft of railing.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/07/2020
      A cleaner and brightener is what you would need for this prep.
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        Sks · 06/07/2020
        The cleaner is ok even though there was something on it at one time?
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          RAD Products · 06/07/2020
          Actually a stripper would be better and then brighten.
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    joe ross · 06/01/2020
    i am planning on using RAD on my fence. What type sprayer do you recommend? Is a sprayer a good idea? Thanks for any advice you can give me.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/01/2020
      You can pump spray the semi-transparent stain but you will need to back brush to ensure an even application.
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    Suzanne · 06/01/2020
    can i do the second coat of transparent stain 12-24 hours later?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/01/2020
      No, second coats need to be applied wet on wet. Once cured it will not take. You can clean and recoat in 6-12 months if needed.
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    April · 05/31/2020
    We purchased the semi-transparent stain for our deck. Can this be applied using a sprayer or is using a brush better?